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“My Boyfriend Picked Up a Woman at the Gas Station!”

It’s time again for Shortcuts. For every question, I’ll give my advice in three sentences or less, because sometimes the answer to a person’s question is so obvious and the need to hear it so great, being as clear and frank as possible is simply the best way to go. Today we discuss boyfriends picking up strange lasses at the gas station, roommate issues, and when to believe the Tarot cards.

Today my boyfriend told me that last night, at midnight, he was filling up his gas when he was asked by a female customer at the gas station if he could give her a ride. The place she wanted to go was out of his way, but he decided to take her anyhow. This woman was in her mid-20s, as is my boyfriend, and a complete stranger to him. He was driving alone at the time.

I know my boyfriend would never cheat on me, and the issue is not that I don’t trust him. I just think that being alone with a woman around his own age who is a complete stranger to him, and doing her an unnecessary favor, is disrespectful to me. The problem is, when I tried to explain that to him, he couldn’t see HOW it was disrespectful or why I was upset. Am I justified in being hurt by what he did, or am I stressing out about nothing? If how I feel is normal, how can I better explain to him why it was a problem? — Dating a Pick-Up Artist

 
If the young woman in question were in distress — like, if she were in labor or had just been mugged (or worse) or something like that — and your boyfriend agreed to drive her to the police or the hospital, I’d say he was a real gem. But it’s totally weird that he gave some able-bodied stranger lady a lift — out of his way — simply because she asked, like he’s some kind of taxi service! But unless he’s making a habit of this kind of behavior, simply express your discomfort, ask him to use better judgment in the future, ask him if he’d like it if you took a ride from a strange man in a gas station, and accept that in the grand scheme of things, this probably isn’t worth getting your panties in a bunch too much — especially if he was forthcoming about the incident and didn’t try to hide it from you.

Last year in need of an apartment, I found three cool girls on Craigslist with an available room in their house. Everyone signed the lease and we had a fun, drama-free 10 months together. Then, in month 11, all three of my roommates decided to move out early. They each left about two months early, still paying their share of the rent. But I lived the last two months by myself in a huge 4-bedroom house, and now my former roommates are saying I should pay the utilities by myself. They didn’t look for a subletter or anything — they just left early, and they’re all just assuming I will pay everything on my own. We did cut off cable when they left, but water and electricity is still running. My name isn’t on any of the utilities. Do I need to have a conversation with them, or just suck it up and pay? Everyone I ask is giving me different answers, and I really have no idea. — Renter’s Dilemma

 
Have a conversation with them — a conversation that should have been had before everyone moved out and stuck you with the utilities bill. Explain that you were not prepared to cover the bill for a 4-bedroom house all by yourself, that you never signed up for that, and that you would appreciate them all pitching in to cover at least a portion of what they would have paid had they lived there, if not all of what they would have owed.

I’m 56 and have had a crush on someone for about five years who is my same age. He was my yoga teacher for a while so I dismissed it, but we’ve kept in touch. He’s been to a party I had and a performance I was in. He’s rather monk-like and I figured maybe he just wasn’t interested in a relationship, but about six months ago he responded to his nephew on Facebook that he was ready to get in a relationship again. Now he’s changed his picture to the 2 of Cups, which is the tarot card for an equal love
relationship. I was thinking of sending him an e-mail and confessing the crush and ask if he is interested, but I truly value his friendship and know that it might be weird if he wasn’t interested. — The Second Cup?

 
Don’t “confess your crush.” You’re 56, for goodness’ sake, not 14. Simply ask him out for some green tea, grilled tofu, and summertime stargazing and see if romance blossoms.

*If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com and be sure to follow me on Twitter.

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{ 56 comments… add one }

  • avatar Mainer August 5, 2011, 7:24 am

    LW1 – I can understand if you were upset because you were concerned for his safety, picking up hitchhikers and all. But that doesn’t seem to be the case. You seem to be jealous. I guess I am kind of with your bf on this one, where I don’t see *how* this was being disrespectful to you? Just because he is dating you means he is forbidden from interacting with any other girl his own age? Would you have felt better if the lady was 48?

    If I was in your boyfriend’s shoes I probably would have given her a ride too. There are some sketchy people out there, especially given this was in the middle of the night, and heaven forbid she hitches a ride with some lonely, middle aged, horny trucker or gets in a car with the wrong person and something happens. She obviously needed a ride, and I know I’m not some sketchy weirdo, so helping her out seems like a good thing to do. I don’t know what I would do if I turned on the news the next morning and there was a missing person report for this girl and I could have helped prevent that. Some people just like doing nice things for people every now and then. You said you know your boyfriend would never cheat on you. You need to trust that and check your ego at the door.

    • Skyblossom Skyblossom August 5, 2011, 8:55 am

      Agreed.

      He was helping someone in need and it doesn’t sound like the drive was too far out of his way. I’d say he’s a nice guy and wouldn’t you rather be dating a nice guy rather than a jerk. This has nothing to do with being disrespectful of you and all about him looking out for the people around him. In fact it wasn’t about you at all and maybe that’s why you’re bothered. If he did this so much that it interfered with his relationship with you, like he kept showing up late because he was helping strangers, then it would be a problem. Appreciate his nice qualities instead of trying to squelch them.

    • avatar MissDre August 5, 2011, 8:57 am

      Agreed 100%. Your boyfriend was just trying to be a nice guy. I’m more surprised by the fact that the girl didn’t think it might be dangerous to get into a car with a random dude. But whatever. She needed a lift, he did a nice thing, and he TOLD you about it. Let it go.

    • avatar melanie August 5, 2011, 11:14 am

      Also in agreement.

      I think the part that sticks out the most for me showing that he was just doing a good deed

      HE TOLD YOU ABOUT IT.

      If he were trying to get some play on the side, he’d be secretive.

    • avatar 1234 August 5, 2011, 1:37 pm

      he may have been doing a good deed but what about proper safety? not to pick up hitchhikers? I don’t know where the LW is from but where I’m from you don’t give strangers a ride, ever. Of course I am from a big city full of crazy people. I wouldn’t be upset that he picked up a stranger who happened to be a women but I would be worried that he had no common sense. Why didn’t he just hand her 20 bucks and call a taxi? (this is assuming the woman is not going into labor or being chased by a murderer)

      • avatar Lamia August 5, 2011, 10:08 pm

        What if he didn’t have $20 in cash (a lot of people I know only carry cards) or maybe he didn’t know if $20 would cover it. Either way, if I were ever in a strange situation where it was the middle of the night and I had no way home, I would hope that there would be a -sane- person who would be willing to help. I think the LW should just be happy that she found a man that has a heart.

      • Skyblossom Skyblossom August 6, 2011, 10:13 am

        The closest taxi to where I live is an hour away and they don’t come out this far. Taxis are found in cities but if you don’t live in a city they don’t exist for you.

  • avatar fast eddie August 5, 2011, 8:29 am

    LW2 you’ve doubtlessly tried to get new roommates which would be a win for all concerned but in the meantime your living the good life in a nice place. Legalities aside, shut the doors to the unused bedrooms and block their air vents to keep the utility bills at a minimum and pay the bill until you can move or get someone to move in and share the expense.

    • avatar Jena August 5, 2011, 9:16 am

      “Living the good life”? It’s the middle of summer in a big house. Those electric bills are probably insane.

      • avatar Jess August 5, 2011, 9:26 am

        you can close the vents in the rooms that aren’t being used.

      • avatar Red_Lady August 6, 2011, 11:53 am

        Depends on where the house it. In the Pacific NW, where you’re kind of crazy if you have AC (‘cus there’s really only a couple days of the year that it can be used) my summer electricity bills are VERY low. I love summer ;)

    • avatar AnitaBath August 5, 2011, 9:41 am

      She has zero responsibility when it comes to finding 3 new roommates. Finding people to sublease and closing off their rooms so that they’re using minimal electricity should have been the responsibility of the 3 other girls before they moved out. They did neither, and just expected the LW to take care of everything. If the LW moved out of the house as well, who would have been responsible for the utilities? The dust bunnies?

      • caitie_didnt caitie_didn't August 5, 2011, 10:26 am

        I agree! It’s seriously uncool of these girls to have just moved out without giving any thought to the LW. If they were half-decent friends or roommates, they would have made an effort to figure something out, instead of just doing the bare minimum required by the law and their lease.

      • avatar Princess Bananahammock August 5, 2011, 10:48 am

        If I’m reading correctly, the old roomies are paying rent. They just aren’t paying utilities. I think she should ask them to contribute to utilities because she wasn’t prepared to cool an entire house on her own for two months. But if they balk, I think that covering the vents is a good idea. It’s not worth suing these people or anything. Really, the cooling of the house is the only thing that would be out of proportion to what she uses on her own. She’s not paying 4 people’s worth of water – just what she personally uses.

        • avatar AnitaBath August 5, 2011, 1:58 pm

          I agree, I was just responding to eddie saying that it was the LW’s responsibility to find subleasers and do all the work to make sure their rooms are closed off.

    • avatar El August 5, 2011, 11:32 am

      Honestly, I wouldn’t pay the bill at all. Its not in LW’s name, and if there’s no written agreement compelling her to pay her roommate’s bills, she should simply forward them to the roommate’s new address. I see it as a, “I’m sorry you’re too dense to take the bills out of your name” tax. She’s the one who will suffer when the bill goes unpaid, so it should be up to HER to negotiate the bill with LW, not the other way around.

    • avatar El August 5, 2011, 11:32 am

      Honestly, I wouldn’t pay the bill at all. Its not in LW’s name, and if there’s no written agreement compelling her to pay her roommate’s bills, she should simply forward them to the roommate’s new address. I see it as a, “I’m sorry you’re too dense to take the bills out of your name” tax. She’s the one who will suffer when the bill goes unpaid, so it should be up to HER to negotiate the bill with LW, not the other way around.

  • avatar kerrycontrary August 5, 2011, 8:47 am

    LW 1: yeh I agree with Mainer that I would be more afraid that my boyfriend did something dangerous by picking up a hitch-hiker rather than something disrespectful. So it would have been ok if this woman was not his age? If she was 16? 35? I think your boyfriend was honestly just trying to do something nice and he probably had a hard time saying no when he was asked a direct favor like that. Giving someone rides is very dangerous so I would try to explain that to your boyfriend, rather than getting jealous. This is a small issue, let it go.

  • avatar DiDo August 5, 2011, 8:51 am

    LW1 – Hold on, are you actually upset at your boyfriend for helping someone who was stranded at a gas station after midnight? I think it is just common decency to help others, and it sounds like your boyfriend was doing just that. I am not sure where you live, but cabs are not always readily available and more to the point, even if she could have called a cab, why has it become weird to ask a stranger for help? Doing “unnecessary favors” for people is called being a good samaritan.

    What if that person was a 60 year old woman, or a 14 year old boy? Can he help them? If it is fine for him to help them, it should be fine for him to help this young woman as well. It is not disrespectful to you … it actually has nothing to do with you.

  • avatar sweetleaf August 5, 2011, 8:54 am

    LW1 just seems to be jealous. I live in the south and down here, we do things like that. Give strangers rides, we share everything. As long we don’t feel threatened.

    • avatar El August 5, 2011, 9:18 am

      Woah, its a totally different world up here. We live in Chicago and would never even dream of making eye contact with a hitchhiker. 99% of the people here who approach strangers at gas stations at night are just looking for money, anyway.

      • avatar Maracuya August 5, 2011, 10:16 am

        I think it depends on where :P Here in Texas, I would NOT pick up anyone late at night. I made an exception for a little old lady, though.

    • theattack theattack August 5, 2011, 3:45 pm

      Haha, I live in the South too, and that has definitely not been my experience. It used to be the experience here like thirty years ago, but it’s dangerous even in the small Southern town I grew up in.

    • avatar LTC039 August 5, 2011, 4:03 pm

      In Miami, FL… If a stranger even began to walk up to me I’d just get in my car as fast as I could. Picking up strangers is really dangerous here too.

  • avatar Lindsay August 5, 2011, 9:00 am

    LW1: It’s probably unsafe to pick up a stranger (of any sex) alone in your car. But that doesn’t seem to be your concern. Your angle that it’s wrong of him to be alone with a woman his age or do anything nice for someone else is overly possessive. You can’t forbid your boyfriend from interacting with other women. I personally, though I’d be worried about my boyfriend’s safety, would be happy that he has a big enough heart to help a stranger. The 10 minutes in a car are not going to lead to him leaving you and declaring his undying love for a stranger. I knew a girl who went so far as to forbid her boyfriend from giving rides home to female friends, and that was the point at which his friends (female and otherwise) decided she was crazy and wanted nothing to with her (or him, for that matter). So, get a hold of yourself, tell your boyfriend to be careful and tell him you’re proud of him for being so altruistic.

    LW2: Ask them to pay a small amount of the bills because utilities, as you probably realize, aren’t billed entirely based on use. But besides a small base amount, the bills probably went down, right?

  • avatar mel August 5, 2011, 9:19 am

    LW1: Like so many others have said… why weren’t you concerned for his safety? She could have been a serial killer. It’s not statistically likely, but you never know. Really though, the fact that he told you about it means nothing but good things in regards to his intentions with her, and of his respect for you. He didn’t even lie by omission, he just flat out told you the truth which suggests to me that it was just one person doing another person a kindness. Was he being a little unsafe? Yes. Was he being disrespectful? Not at all. Relax hon, seriously.

    LW3: Just go for it. The worst that can happen is he says he isn’t interested. The world won’t end, no one will get injured. Just ask him out for coffee or something, and hopefully when he posted about being ready for love, he maybe was thinking of you.

  • avatar Jess August 5, 2011, 9:28 am

    LW2, close the vents in the rooms that aren’t being used and don;t turn on the lights in those rooms as well. I think you’re overestimating how much the utilities will cost. If you’re not air-conditioning 3 of the bedrooms and having the lights on less often, it will be a lot cheaper. personally i agree with your roomies.

    • avatar Amber August 5, 2011, 9:36 am

      yeah but they left early and their names were on the lease. that means that basic utility bills need to be covered by whoever is on the lease. they definitely should have had the conversation before the moved out but it sounds like they just left. not fair to stick just one person with the bill. when you sign the lease you agree to take care of those kinds of things, if they didn’t want to be responsible for that they should have had their name taken off the lease when they left.

    • avatar AnitaBath August 5, 2011, 9:36 am

      Umm, no. Granted this was in the winter in a poorly insulated 2 bedroom townhome, but when my roommate and I were completely absent for 3 out of the 4 weeks of the month in December, we had a $250 electric bill (and that was with the thermostat turned down to 58 degrees). Even when you’re gone, you rack up a lot on the bill. Even if no one were in the house, the refrigerator and a lot of other things would still be plugged in. There would still be an connection charge, and sometimes management makes you keep it set to a certain temperature.

    • avatar AnitaBath August 5, 2011, 9:37 am

      Also, a lot of people are suggesting all these things she can do to close off the other rooms and keep the utilities down in the other rooms while they’re not in use…which are things that the other girls should have done before they left if they didn’t want to pay utilities.

      • KKZ Pankakes August 9, 2011, 6:58 pm

        Ok, sure, they could have and should have, but they didn’t. Can’t go back in time and make them do it now, so why not suggest the LW do it in the meantime to save a few pennies while she tries to get the money from her ex-roomies?

    • avatar Maracuya August 5, 2011, 10:18 am

      In the summer, in a 4-bedroom house, our bill came to $400 for June. And this is when we had it at 80 F.

      • avatar AnitaBath August 5, 2011, 10:27 am

        Holy shit. Yeah, if the electric bill is that much, there is no way in hell I would be paying all of it. Luckily it isn’t even in the LW’s name, so it’s going to be a lot harder for the other girls to force her to pay all of it.

  • avatar AnitaBath August 5, 2011, 9:33 am

    LW#1: Your problem isn’t with that he gave a complete stranger a ride to someplace that was out of his way, but rather that he was alone in the car with *gasp* A GIRL HIS OWN AGE!? Priorities, woman. Priorities.

    LW#2: It’s so annoying when that happens. If you leave a 4 bedroom house abandoned with NO ONE living in it, you are still going to have a sizable water and electric bill. Maybe you should pay more than 1/4 of the bill, but you definitely shouldn’t be paying all of it.

  • avatar SGMcG August 5, 2011, 9:35 am

    LW#1- Did you try to explain to him that by indulging in this slightly risky behavior it demonstrates no regard to his personal safety and, in turn, is disrespectful to his role in your relationship together? Yeah, I’m not buying it either because it’s a slightly crazy tangent you’re thinking yourself into. If he wants to be magnanimous to strangers (particularly other women in distress), let him – as long as he remembers to be just as generous to you (aka he’s not cheating and/or giving them any money for services illegally rendered), there’s no disrespect here.

    LW#2 – There are things you can do to a large house to save money – if you can isolate some utilities to specific rooms only, it helps. Some people close vents/close pipes/turn off switches in the electrical breaker on rooms not being used frequently. Ultimately, you have to talk to the roommates in question about utilities. If your name is not on the lease, consider looking for another apartment where you can afford all amenities. You don’t have to do these things linearly – you can have the conversation and exercise the money saving options while you look for a place you can afford.

    LW#3- The rejection of prospects beyond friendship only gets weird if you have this presumption that you’re going to immediately have a romantic commitment together. You didn’t immediately become this man’s friend so don’t immediately assume that because he’s now looking for a romantic relationship he immediately wants a girlfriend. There’s no need to write a missive on your history together and the juxtaposition of friendship and romance – just ask him out and gauge his reaction.

  • avatar Amber August 5, 2011, 9:48 am

    LW#1, I agree with Wendy and most of the posters. I wouldn’t be worried about him cheating or being disrespectful but rather worried about his safety. I like Wendy’s suggestion of asking him how he would feel if you do the same. But, only if you’re coming from a place of worrying about his safety otherwise I agree with him you are being unreasonable. It was disrespectful just not the best idea ever.

    LW#2, I think as long as your roommates names were still on the lease during the time that the bills were being incurred they are definitely responsible. Just saying oh I moved out isn’t good enough, especially if they left without giving the landlord notice. Have you moved also or are you still living there as well?

    LW#3, Just go for it, what’s the worst that could happen? You’ll never know if you don’t take the risk. Even if nothing happens romantically you will get a great night out with a friend.

    • avatar kf August 5, 2011, 6:24 pm

      Wendy was totally off base in suggesting that LW1 ask her boyfirend how he would like it if she gave a ride to a male stranger. Unfortunately, it is not the same thing at all.

  • avatar Bethany August 5, 2011, 10:04 am

    LW2- Your name isn’t on the utilities, so legally it’s not on you to pay them. Sure it would be the “right thing to do”, but whoever was moving out should have had them switched over to your name if they didn’t want to keep paying.

    I moved out of a place 6 months early (didn’t find a subletter, but still paid rent there). One of the bills was in my name (cable or electricity- I can’t remember). I told the other 2 girls I was leaving and that I was teminating service of whichever utility it was- if they wanted it, they could pay for it. I have to add that I moved out of a REALLY bad situation- had I left there on good terms I might have been a little nicer about it.

  • avatar Maracuya August 5, 2011, 10:13 am

    LW1: If you’re worried he would cheat on you given the 10-minute window of giving a girl a ride home…yeah. I wouldn’t want my boyfriend giving rides to random strangers because it’s dangerous. Yeah, girls look defenseless but guns exist. My question was what was HER reason for being out at a gas station at midnight? She didn’t sound like she was in distress. That would’ve been a bigger red flag to me on the danger side of things.

  • avatar ele4phant August 5, 2011, 10:23 am

    Are we so jaded now that its supiscous to do a favor for a stranger? Jeez, it was late (what woman wants to be hanging around a gas station late at night – not me – even if I worked there), and she probably doesn’t make a whole lot to call a cab. He was just being kind.

  • becboo84 BecBoo84 August 5, 2011, 10:28 am

    LW2: You should probably do everything you can to minimize the electricity usage by closing the vents, etc in their rooms. However, after that, the bill should probably be split 4 ways. When it comes to the water bill though, I’m not sure why it would be split 4 ways because presumably, you’re the only one using the water (for cooking, showering, laundry, etc.), so you should probably pay that one on your own.-

    • avatar oldie August 5, 2011, 11:08 am

      I don’t know why you got thumbs downed for that. Your answer is perfectly reasonable. Contrary to what somebody said above, an empty house does not use any water. A lot of posters seem to assume that 1) the air vents in the unused rooms are not already closed off and 2) the departed room mates didn’t close them before they left. Just because somebody made the reasonable suggestion that LW make sure that the vents in the unused rooms were closed, just about everyone else jumped to the totally unreasonable assumption that the nasty, derelict former room mates skipped Dodge without doing the obviously responsible thing.

      • avatar Maracuya August 5, 2011, 11:25 am

        Yeah, same. I think the water bill should be fine for her to pay on her own. The electricity is something different.

        • avatar justpeachy August 5, 2011, 4:33 pm

          While they may not need to each pay one fourth of the bill, there ARE possible uses for water that would fall on the other three, such as watering the lawn or landscaping.

    • avatar ele4phant August 6, 2011, 10:53 am

      I didn’t give you any thumbs down, so I don’t know why people did, but maybe its because the LW signed onto the lease with the expectation that she would be splitting the costs for the entire lease. When the roomies left, they didn’t really give her a choice, nor did they sit down on their way out and collectively come together and agree on how the remaining months of utilities should be split.

      So I think people are disliking what you said on the principle, not on the practicalness of your suggestion.

      But I don’t know, I think your idea seems completely reasonable.

  • Heather Heather August 5, 2011, 11:25 am

    Agree with most of the other posters on LW 1. You don’t seem genuinely concerned for his safety, you seem jealous and petty about the fact that he gave a damn girl a ride home. If you know he would never cheat on you, what’s so disrespectful about him doing this? Do you think that car ride alone with her would…what, make him fall in love with her and leave you? I just don’t understand. It would be different if you rationally approached it from the angle of his safety, along the lines of “I understand why you did that, but please keep in mind the possible ways it can go wrong in the future.” And that’s it. Appreciate that you have a well meaning guy who told you about it right away. And if your trust in him is really so shallow, then you should probably reevaluate why you’re in a relationship.

  • avatar kdog August 5, 2011, 11:31 am

    LW3-Go for it! :) I think it’s great that you have a crush, what a fun feeling. As Wendy and others have said, send him a casual note inviting him to something fun that you know he would be interested in. I live in Austin and we have these really cool mind/body expos every now and again–that would be fun! Of course, that won’t happen every weekend, and maybe never in your city, but I’m sure you could find something, maybe do a tarot reading together? It’s so fun to find someone who is into similar things as yourself, so get on it!

  • avatar kali August 5, 2011, 12:50 pm

    LW 1 – My ex would have done the same thing. And he would have been completely baffled when I pointed out the possible dangers, etc. For him, it was all about making people like him (anyone, anywhere) and it was a pattern of behavior that continued throughout our years together. He would ignore my wishes and needs to help others. I wasn’t jealous before, but his actions created such angst in me, that I did crazy things I’m not proud of. Yet his behavior never changed; in fact, he seemed to go out of his way to find opportunities like picking up a strange woman to aggravate my insecurities.

    If this is a pattern for your boyfriend or is developing into one, please spare yourself the agony and MOA now. There’s nothing worse than being a second class citizen in your own relationship and no one should have to put up with that.

  • avatar AKchic August 5, 2011, 1:28 pm

    LW1 –
    I can understand your unease, but I think YOU need to understand it yourself. Are you worried that he would cheat? Are you worried for his safety?
    I would be more worried for his safety. Hitchhikers (even women) can be a danger. Not just physically, but monetarily. Some will steal quite a bit from your vehicle in the dark without you knowing about it until it’s too late.
    It could have been that this girl was having a rough night. Bad date who ditched her in an area nowhere near her apartment. Maybe her boyfriend purposely left her there as punishment. We don’t know. This girl could have been a drug addict who just needed a ride to a fix, or even back home to her parents to get help to sober up. Again – don’t know.
    I think that your boyfriend was a good guy either way. He told you what happened, and by his story – nothing happened. He did a good deed for someone who needed it. Let’s hope that someone will be as willing to help him, or you, should you ever need it.
    If you want to articulate your unease, just remind him about the dangers, and ask him to be cautious about those things, give him a kiss on the cheek, tell him that he did a good deed either way and leave it at that. He’s a sweetheart for his deed.

  • avatar Temperance August 5, 2011, 1:52 pm

    In re: to #1:

    Where I grew up, you do NOT pick up hitchers. Ever. I grew up in the northeast, but in an area that is pretty Southern in its ways/mannerisms, or at least tries to be. (Pennsyltucky, as it’s called). One of my friends in high school picked up a pair of hitchhikers, and they attempted to rob him. He was broke, so instead, they stabbed him, poured gasoline on him, and lit him on fire. It didn’t burn his face, but now his whole body is scarred in parts … and all because he wanted to be nice.

    I also find it really weird that this woman would approach a strange man. As a woman, the LAST person I would take a ride from is a strange dude.

  • theattack theattack August 5, 2011, 3:39 pm

    LW2: When either me or my roommate leave for a month (like for winter or summer break from school), both of us still pay. We split it up where the person staying there pays 2/3s and the person who left pays 1/3. It’s definitely not fair to you to have to pay for the air conditioning in a four bedroom all by yourself. Depending on your attitude about it, you could suggest that they pay a smaller portion. It might be easier to win that than to win that they pay their whole portions.

    And uhh, not that I’m recommending this at all, but ya know, the bill isn’t in your name… It wouldn’t affect you if you didn’t pay it, but that’s not a good way to go about it. It’s unfair to you to be forced to pay a bill that’s likely almost $300. Stand your ground and insist that they chip in. If they really want the thing payed, they’ll compromise with you.

  • avatar LW 2 August 5, 2011, 4:38 pm

    Thanks everyone for your comments, and thank you Wendy for your amazing, unbiased advice, as always. I actually did close all vents, turn off all fans and lights, etc for those last two months. I rarely did laundry, and I took short showers. I moved my bedroom from upstairs to downstairs in order to use less A/C, and didn’t turn it down very low anyway. The bills actually did not go down as much as I hoped they would; it’s just a huge house. The water bill went down about $5, so I’m guessing there’s a base amount that stays about the same every month. I definitely should have brought it up with them before they left, but I guess I felt a little ganged up on, since the three of them were in agreement that it was apparently obvious that I should pay. I thought maybe I was missing something in my logic. But the more I thought about it, the less fair it seemed and the less sense it made. Yea, I’m lucky it’s not my name on the bills! So I’m taking (most) everyone’s advice and telling them that I wasn’t prepared to pay utilities in a 4 bedroom house by myself, and I think I’ll pay for about 1/3. That’s what I was hoping to hear, and I’m glad my rationale doesn’t seem too unreasonable from an outsider’s perspective.

    • katie katie August 5, 2011, 8:21 pm

      whoever’s name is on the bill… that girl is an idiot for giving you all the power over her credit and safety deposit. i mean it effects her if you pay or not, and basically you can just be like, oh sorry i didnt pay! and nothing happens to you. that was just not a good decision. they are going to have to go along with whatever you say to do or they are going to risk their security deposits and credit scores… remember that.

  • avatar Anonymous August 5, 2011, 6:22 pm

    I was taught never to pick up hitchhikers, but one day like three months ago I did! My situation sounds a little like LW’s boyfriend. I was filling up gas and went inside to pay and there was a girl about my age ( early 20s), asking to use the phone. The cashiers were being dick to her, so I told her to come to my car ad she could borrow my cell. She couldnt reach her sister or whatever, so then she asked if I could drive her to a bus stop that was about 10 minutes away, or so I thought! The bus stop was the next county over, about 30 minutes away, but when we got to that area, she asked if I could just take her home, which was another 25 minutes up the road! I don’t know why, but I just said sure and when we got to her house she gave me cash for gas and that was it. I realize what I did was kind of stupid and potentiall dangerous, but she was pretty nice and my instincts said it was fine, though I probably won’t do it again. Anyways, LW 1, when people ask for help sometimes it’s just feels weird to say no, so I’m sure that’s all there was to it.

  • avatar Cautious January 5, 2012, 11:25 pm

    L1 – my boyfriend did the SAME thing 2 nights ago. I was visiting him in Michigan from California, where I live. At home, several times guys have come up to me at gas stations asking for gas money or rides. I always avoid them, or if I talk to them I ask them to look me in the eyes …and every time they have crazy meth eyes. I tell them to get cleaned up and help themselves. I try to stay away from drug-related trouble and from potentially unstable people, that’s just me. And my boyfriend of 8 months rarely has a kind word to say about anyone on the street – he’s always cursing bad drivers, fat people, people on welfare, etc.

    So I was SHOCKED when he got home the other night a few minutes late – I’d asked him to call me when he left work, but he didn’t, he just sent a text which I didn’t see, so I called him to see where he was (I wanted to greet him naked at the door with a beer, just as he’d requested, with the football game on). He told me he was getting gas and I said ok, dejected a bit because I was eager for him to finally come home from work (It was 10:15pm on his “Friday”).

    *I don’t have a car of my own in his town so when I visit I just stay at his house and wait for him to get off work, cooking and cleaning, or on my computer. When I wanted to go to the store to get some food to cook for us, he at first told me to take a cab, then he agreed to drive me before he left for work. But I ended up forgetting an ingredient so I had to WALK back, in the cold, even slipped & fell on the icy sidewalk. But I didn’t complain. **Oh and he once said driving to get me at the airport when I come to town is a “sacrifice.”

    That said, he has been trying to work on being a kinder person. But when he came home and said “I just picked up a girl at the gas station and gave her a ride to Denny’s” I honestly thought he was just messing with me. It seemed SO out of character. I started to get upset because I would never do something like that, and I couldn’t imagine him doing something that seemed risky and dangerous to me. I asked him if he asked her any questions, and he said no. No questions asked! And then he got mad at me for being upset!! He said it was COLD outside and he was trying to be nice. He said he didn’t want to feel bad later. But did he tell her to call a cab? No. He had no qualms telling me to take a cab before… Little things like that – why can he give at times more courtesy to a “poor” stranger (who then asked him for money) than to his own girlfriend who came all this way to see him, who’s been cooking and cleaning all day just waiting for him to get home so she could meet him at the door naked? Let me tell you, I was cold too, holding that cold beer with no clothes on! Needless to say, the night didn’t turn out as either of us had hoped. I opened my big mouth in the wrong way, and he from now on is keeping tight lipped :(

  • avatar Cautious January 5, 2012, 11:54 pm

    *** I’d also like to add that while waiting for him to come home I had the TV on the scary Detroit news all day…

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